February 14, 2020
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Ki & Ka

The film was perhaps meant to please women; unfortunately it has been trashed mostly by its female viewers

Ki & Ka
Ki & Ka

Cast: Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor

Director and Producer: R. Balki

Rating: **

R. Balki had a half way decent idea that was perhaps meant to please women; unfortunately Ki & Ka has been trashed mostly by its female viewers. In 1942, there was a film called Ulti Ganga that made fun of male-female role reversal, the point being that the roles should not be reversed—women stay home, men provide. Ki & Ka  is a contemporary version of the idea, but after a good start does not know what to do with it ‘unconventional’ couple—ambitious corporate wife, stay-at-home husband. In the end, he seems to get confused with his own ‘progressive’ sloganeering and ends up sounding phony.

Ka or Kabir (Arjun Kapoor), who insists he wants to be like his mother, who was a homemaker and hence an 'artist' comes across as an eccentric rich brat, who knows he has an exit ready-- his builder dad's fortune.  Ki or Kia (Kareena Kapoor) is an ambitious career woman, who needs a 'wife' not a husband. So at the wedding, she puts a mangalsutra round Kabir's neck! Which he continues to wear on his wrist. Then the whole film is about building up Kabir as a hero who is lionised by the media as progressive. But Balki idea of the housewife is not all that admiring--the many wives Kabir hangs out with are silly shopping-kitty party stereotypes. But when a man does the housework, he expounds on it at Ted-ex sessions!

But, even Balki cannot get away from the real man “chaddi check”  (term used in the film)—Kabir does not really take Kia’s money, and he is around when she needs rescuing from Delhi’s notorious street molesters. Worse, he decorates their apartment to look like a bizarre rail museum because he has a passion for trains. The message going out?  The woman may pay the rent, but the house belongs to the man. Gender equality, says who?

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